Beethoven. Piano Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111. In two movements: Maestro - Allegro con brio ed appasianato, Ariette (Adagio molto semplice e cantabile). Artur Schnabel (1882-1951), piano. Recorded circa 1935; a collaboration between the Beethoven Sonata Society and HMV.
February 23, 2018 Subject:
Echos of jazz?
What is characteristic of Beethoven's "late" sonatas is that he abandoned previous forms and conventions with gusto; and, he brought music into new territories, exploring new motifs that only he could understand, at the time.
Nowhere is this demonstrated more than in this sonata, particularly in the famous Arrietta-Adagio, which makes this piece one of his greatest, in my opinion.
Artur Schnabel gives a fine rendition of this, although again, his pacing throws me off at times.
But back to the sonata. Do I hear the beginnings of jazz syncopations; of the possibilities of a "modern" jazz quartet to take this piece and improvise the heck out of it? The fugal style, the variations - all bring me to a place I've rarely visited before.
People, listen to this piece in a quiet, dark room. Pour yourself your favorite drink, lean back, and enjoy. Discard your phone - try not to get interrupted.